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Newly discovered monkeys are struggling

Aug. 13, 2010 at 5:32 PM   |   Comments

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Researchers say a new monkey species has been discovered in Colombia but is struggling to survive because of deforestation.

The existence of the Caqueta titi monkey had been suspected for decades following a single reported sighting in the 1970s, but years of insurgent violence in the region made it too dangerous for scientists to visit the area, a Conservation International release said Friday.

Finally in 2008, Javier Garcia, a research student and Caqueta native, was able to make an extensive survey of the region and discovered 13 populations of the Caqueta titi monkeys.

Caqueta titi monkeys are similar in size to domestic house cats and have bushy red beards. Like most and perhaps all related titi species, they form monogamous, lifelong bonds and have been observed sitting together on tree branches with their tails entwined.

The species, struggling to survive as a result of deforestation and habitat fragmentation, fit the criteria to be classified as critically endangered as only a few hundred are believed to exist in the wild, Conservation International says.

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